Void periods in private-residential property have fallen to their lowest level in over a year, due to strong and consistent tenant demand, according to the National Landlords Association (NLA).
According to its Landlords’ Panel, the NLA saus that enduring tenancies are on the rise with only 33% of landlords experiencing vacant periods in the last three months, down 13% year-on-year.
At a regional level, voids are greatest in the North East of England where 54% of landlords have experienced empty periods in the last three months.
Meanwhile, they are lowest in London where 20% of landlords have experienced voids over the same time frame.
The average duration of a void has reduced to 60 days from 63 days in quarter three and 69 days earlier in 2012.
In addition, 41% of landlords have experienced instances of rental arrears in the last 12 months, down 9% year on year and back to levels previously seen in quarter one 2010.
David Salusbury, chairman of the NLA, said: “It is in every landlords’ business interest to maintain good, long lasting tenancies and avoid voids. At a time when demand far outstrips supply, it is imperative that empty properties are filled quickly, following any necessary maintenance and improvements.
“The private-rented sector affords tenants flexibility, so as tenants’ circumstances change, there are occasions when a property might be empty.
“Our results also show that there is no one property market, with voids representing more of a problem in the North than in the South, where demand is far higher.
“The NLA’s advice to landlords looking to minimise void periods is to talk openly with their tenants about their future plans. This will give the landlord some idea of when the property might next be empty and allow them to make any improvements and plan advertising activity in good time.”